Hickory Names New Management, Strikes Deal With TRX

Hickory Global Partners last month named Caitlin Gomez senior director of the company's agency partner program, replacing Ted Cromwell, who was affiliated with Hickory for about two years. Gomez originally joined Hickory in February as director for strategic planning and business development. Roughly a year after joining as Hickory's senior vice president for hotel partners, Tiffany Topcik in January left for competitor CCRA Travel Solutions. Cromwell and Topcik had joined Hickory full time as it was acquired last year by The Traina Companies.

Hickory's senior leaders, former Priceline execs Tom Sparico and Brian Harniman, said they remain committed to reinventing the agency consortia model. Harniman, Hickory's executive vice president for product development and marketing, has been handling hotel relationships in Topcik's absence. The company is looking for a replacement, said COO and president Sparico.

Meanwhile, Hickory announced TRX as a key partner in building its "vision of measurable participation" in its hotel rate program for agencies. TRX will power what Hickory is calling a transformative set of analytics and tools to help agency members monitor their performance "down to individual frontline agent sales activity."

The custom version of TRX's Traveltrax data product also will offer participating suppliers "daily trends across the HGP agent network and programs," all based on enhanced "daily pre-trip air and hotel data from HGP agencies," the companies announced.

Along with Gomez, late of Travel Leaders Corporate and the American Society of Travel Agents, Hickory in February hired Kristin Knous__a former Priceliner with experience in the airline and hotel industries__as senior director for revenue planning and analysis.